Singapore’s Changi Airport is perhaps best known for its over-the-top amenities for travelers, which include a pool, movie theater, an Internet gaming center and even a giant slide.
But it’s the smaller touches that make more of an impact when you walk through.
Movable flower arrangements cultivated by 150-plus workers overseen by 10 on-staff botanists, multiple koi ponds and gardens featuring butterflies, cacti and sunflowers bring natural life inside the walls, offering a colorful contrast to the cold utilitarianism of most airports. Hotel-style carpet provides plushness underfoot, and especially in Terminal 3, electrical outlets and Internet stations are everywhere. Wi-Fi is also free.
Subtler design tweaks also aim to shape the traveler’s experience. In Terminal 2, instead of corralling all the food options in one place, they’re interspersed throughout the wide variety ofshops, making it more convenient to stop in for a bit while browsing. In Terminal 1, two currency exchange counters are situated next to each other to keep from the perception of a monopoly. In Terminal 1, a set of “premium toilets” allows views of the airfield.
Perhaps the most unique touch: two sets of trains connect all three terminals on both the “airside” and “landside.” (In Atlanta, the ATLSkytrain connecting concourses is only available to travelers that have already passed through security.)
For Changi, this is all part of an effort to ensure that each traveler encounters an element of “positive surprise,” whether arriving or just passing through.
One of Airport City’s reporters got a quick tour of the place. View our discoveries below:
Download airport maps and guides here and stay tuned for more reporting from the airport.
What positive surprises did you experience at Changi? Share with us below.